During the fall, pumpkins will be abundant across the country. You can find them on the farms, in stores, and even in the garden if you have grown some yourself. Pumpkins are safe for chickens to eat, but what about the seeds? Is it safe to feed pumpkin seeds to your chickens?
So, can chickens eat pumpkin seeds? Yes, chickens can eat pumpkin seeds. You can either feed them raw or dried seeds. It’s nutritious and healthy for them to eat.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Safe For Your Chickens?
Pumpkins seeds are safe for chickens since it doesn’t contain any toxins.
The only thing that makes pumpkin seeds unsafe is when it’s fed to baby chickens. The seeds are too large for them, and it could lead to choking. To prevent that from happening, break the pumpkin seeds into small pieces before feeding them to the chicks.
As for adult chickens, pumpkin seeds are fine for them to eat. They will simply eat the whole seeds, and they will get digested in their crop.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of nutrition. The seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. All of these nutrients make pumpkin seeds a healthy food for your chickens.
Below are some health benefits of feeding pumpkin seeds to your chickens:
Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of vitamin A. The vitamin is essential for the chickens since it helps prevent illness.
High in Antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants. The seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E.
Antioxidants are important for the health of the chickens. It helps reduce inflammation and protect the cells from free radicals.
When the chickens are fed food that is rich in antioxidants, they will be protected against many diseases and less likely to become sick.
High in Fiber
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber. Fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. Since fiber cannot be absorbed by the body, it will help bulk up the stool instead. This will make the stool pass through the digestive tract smoothly.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Baby chickens can eat pumpkin seeds once they are around 3 weeks old. This will give them enough time for the digestive system to mature. Feeding pumpkin seeds while they are under 3 weeks old could lead to crop impaction. Also, it could cause the chicks to choke on the seeds.
Instead, chicks should be served mostly starter feed for the first few weeks of their lives. The starter feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the dietary needs of the chicks.
Once the baby chickens are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce pumpkin seeds to them. Start by giving them a piece of the pumpkin seed that’s broken into smaller pieces. This will prevent the chicks from choking on it.
Also, make sure to provide plenty of grits for your chicks. The grits help grind and break down the pumpkin seeds in their crop.
Can Chickens Eat Dried Pumpkin Seeds?
Dried pumpkin seeds are safe for chickens to eat. It offers the same nutrition as fresh pumpkin seeds.
Dried pumpkin seeds are a great way to keep them fresh for a long time. This makes them great as a treat for the chickens any time of the year.
How Do You Feed Pumpkin Seeds To Your Chickens
When it comes to feeding pumpkin seeds to your chickens, there are several methods.
The first method is to simply toss the pumpkin seeds onto the ground. The chickens will start to peck and eat the seeds.
When feeding them the whole seed, make sure younger chickens don’t eat them. Pumpkin seeds are too large and could cause them to choke on them.
If you’re planning to feed them to younger chickens, break the seeds into smaller pieces. This will make it easier for them to eat and digest.
The second method is to break the pumpkin seeds into smaller pieces. This will make it easier for your flock to eat. After breaking them, simply toss them to the chickens.
The third method is to mix the pumpkin seeds with other foods. This can include fruits, vegetables, and even chicken feed. Doing so is a great way to boost the nutrition of your flock.
How Many Pumpkin Seeds Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Chickens should only be fed pumpkin seeds in small amounts. While the seeds are nutritious for them, they also contain a high amount of fats.
Too many fats in their diet can lead to obesity, heart failure, and fatty liver. All of these conditions will eventually lead to death.
For each adult chicken, you can give them 4-5 pieces of pumpkin seeds.
For baby chickens, just 1-2 pieces of pumpkin seeds are enough for them to enjoy. Make sure to crush the seeds into smaller pieces before giving them.
How Often Should You Feed Pumpkin Seeds To Your Chickens?
Pumpkin seeds should be fed to your chickens in moderation. Again, pumpkin seeds are high in fats, which can lead to health issues for the chickens.
Pumpkin seeds should not be food that’s given to them daily. The seeds should be given to them as a treat.
Pumpkin seeds should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should be from commercial chicken feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s daily nutrition needs.
Therefore, only feed pumpkin seeds to your chickens, once or twice per month.
Other Seed That Chickens Can Eat
Bird seeds contain many essential nutrients that your chickens need to stay healthy. It’s a good source of protein, which is important for muscle development and growth, and also egg development.
While birdseed is nutritious, you should only serve your chickens in moderation. This is due to the high amount of fats that are in the seeds. Too many fats in their diet will lead to obesity and other health problems.
Sesame seeds are great for chickens due to their high content of protein and B vitamins. You can feed them both raw or roasted sesame seeds.
Sunflower seed makes a nutritious treat for your chickens. There are two kinds of sunflower seeds that you can feed them, which are black oil and striped sunflower seeds. Both are high in protein and fat content. Since sunflower seeds have a high content of fat, you’ll want to feed your chickens in moderation.
If you feed pumpkin to your chickens, give them the seeds to eat as well. Pumpkin seeds are safe and healthy for chickens to eat.